Telefónica Digitizes Its Operations In Service Of The Customer

Fred Giron

With Dan Bieler

Like many organizations, Telefónica is going through a digital transformation. Our new case study “Telefónica Digitizes Its Operations In Service Of The Customer” investigates the approach that Telefónica has taken to prepare for digital transformation, including the impact of its transformation strategy on its customer experience, its operational setup, and its organizational transformation. Here are three key insights:

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Simplicity is a strategy that works.

Chase Cunningham

This last week I was fortunate enough to be invited out to Hollywood to participate in a large exercise for the entertainment industry focusing on cyber security planning and threat management.  There were folks in attendance from a variety of organizations, all of which were very interested in just how exposed they might be to data theft.  The resounding call from nearly every executive that I talked to during this event was that they were aware of how exposed they likely were, and that they were extremely worried about who would be next to have their movie or tv show leaked to the public. 

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Two Ways That Customer Service Organizations Use To Build Emotional Connections

Kate Leggett

Today customers use self-service for straightforward interactions, leaving complex issues like account closure or claims disputes for a phone conversation. These questions often take longer to resolve and are opportunities to build positive customer relationships.

Customer service organizations must look out for customers' best interests and support their emotional state. Take the example of Delta Air Lines and how the airline supports customers when they receive notice about a cancelled flight. Its IVR system can tell when the caller ID field matches a mobile phone that recently received a cancellation notice via text message. It skips the standard menu in favor of one context-aware question: "Are you calling about the text message we just sent you? - saving the customer valuable time, and making him or her feel like the airline has their best interests in mind.

How are companies making better emotional connections via customer service?  First, field service is becoming more important to nurture customer relationships. These interactions are by far the most personal channel for customer engagement, and they can make or break a relationship. Modern field service technologies empower customers to control the service experience by engaging with a tech on their timetable and their terms. They can also fuel differentiated customer experiences by equipping the technician with the right customer information, parts, and knowledge to get the job done in one visit. We foresee industries outside of the traditional ones – like insurance, field health workers, contractors - adopting these technologies for their value in providing differentiated experiences.

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Telefónica Digitizes Its Operations In Service Of The Customer

Dan Bieler

With Fred Giron

Like many organizations, Telefónica is going through a digital transformation. Our new case study “Telefónica Digitizes Its Operations In Service Of The Customer” investigates the approach that Telefónica has taken to prepare for digital transformation, including the impact of its transformation strategy on its customer experience, its operational setup, and its organizational transformation. Here are three key insights:

  • Collaboration between IT and business on customer journeys results in a qualitative dialogue. Telefónica’s CIO office no longer has a technology discussion with business leaders. Instead, they have a debate about business outcomes.
  • “Doing” matters more than “talking” about digital transformation. Telefónica’s CIO office has not tried to sound smart about digital transformation. It does not talk a lot about cultural transformation. Telefónica’s CIO office wants the culture change to be visible rather than intellectual.
  • Cultural issues are becoming more important as the digital transformation evolves. Telefónica has communicated, in detail, the need for and the approach to digital transformation to local operations as well as to all the channels to get business buy-in.
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Lessons Learned From The Recent British Airways Outage

Naveen  Chhabra

Like many others, we are trying to wrap our heads around the recent British Airways outage, an event so far-reaching and arguably avoidable that it’s difficult to believe such a thing can happen — yet it did. While our aim is not to criticize BA, this event provides some good lessons for everyone. It’s a reminder that bad things can happen, even to a good organization. You need to be aware of the risks to your own technology and business and defend against them before they harm your business and your customers.

As a rough estimate, BA will suffer direct losses of US$20 million to $25 million (75,000 passengers at an average revenue per passenger of about $300).[i] Three days of missed bookings amount to a potential additional $105 million loss, to say nothing of the reputational damage and other indirect losses. It might take the airline a few quarters to recover fully. Public memory is short, and the beleaguered traveler is forgiving, but a three-day no-show is extreme. BA execs will get to the root-cause analysis soon, but the event (and historical failures at airlines in general) provides a bonanza of lessons for execs everywhere who want to better equip their organizations to handle such exigencies.

Here’s what you should do:

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On An Agile Scaling Journey? Take Our Survey To Find Out How You Are Doing

Amanda LeClair

This year I’m excited to be teaming up with Diego Lo Giudice on the biannual Forrester Agile At Scale Adoption Survey. For the 2017 study, we’ve added a few more questions in areas that we see organizations struggle with. So in addition to successful Agile team practices, alignment with business stakeholders upstream and downstream with testing and operations, we are looking into more Agile at scale issues like budgeting and DevOps. Software development leaders continue to buy into Agile while eradicating traditional waterfall development. In the last Agile survey in 2015, we found that 46% of the respondents are still doing what Forrester calls Water-Agile-Fall, but not on a path to faster delivery. Leading innovator teams, which we called Agile Expert firms, have quickly turned passion projects into Agile success stories. But enterprises don’t just need to be quick and flexible on net-new projects or only at the individual team level; they need speed across the business.

As software teams mature along their Agile transformation, the biggest obstacle still is, despite some improvements, to scale up and horizontally. This means truly linking Agile initiatives, Design thinking and DevOps with business value. Our biannual Agile survey tracking the health of Agile initiatives for 2017 keeps its focus on the main challenge: Agile At Scale.

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Hortonworks Eats IBM — And Loves It

Brian  Hopkins

Big announcement at Dataworks today — IBM is transitioning Big Insights into a partnership with Hortonworks. This seems not unexpected and only mildly interesting until you think deeply about it. Then it hits you: Hortonworks, after digesting Microsoft, is now eating IBM. It’s a total reversal from the past, when big fish like IBM would eat little fish like Hortonworks. See my blog post from yesterday for more on this.

The tables are turned. Let me explain:

  • Working on distributed open source is new and complex. The young developers with the new skills and energy to work on this stuff don’t go generally to work for IBM or Microsoft. They go to work for valley startups who are challenging the big boys. This has been a problem for enterprise software vendors who have had issues developing and building a business around their open source work. Need proof? Microsoft got out of the Hadoop business first, then EMC did the same (through Pivotal, which then gave up), then Intel, and today IBM with their announced partnership with Hortonworks at Data Works 2017.
  • Proprietary data analytics tools are where the growth is. IBM isn’t  growing Infosphere; Teradata cut its prices in half to boost sales; and Oracle doesn’t even want to talk about Exadata in favor of “all cloud, all the time.” The future of these software giants is tied to how well they can navigate the disruption to their legacy business model, which is on-premises, scale-up, and centers on enterprise deals.
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Why Open Source Is Really Disrupting Enterprise Software

Brian  Hopkins

I had an epiphany today about a major reason open source is disrupting enterprise software. This is perhaps one of those things that you have heard so much, you've gone numb to it. All the big giants are still alive and kicking, however; so is this really happening? The answer is yes, however the mechanics are not what you think. It is not simply just a cost play. The acquisition - one of the main weapons that big software vendors had to fight disruptors - is losing effectiveness.  And that changes everything. Allow me to explain:

In the past, big vendors bought the smaller potential disruptors and got the code and customers. Cash disrupted the disruptor; investors got paid, and customers got the new technology as part of the big vendor's larger suite. Everyone was happy. 

In the open source model, the code is, well.....open source. The value is the people; and you can't keep most people from leaving, which they will. Cool, talented open source developers don't generally want to work for big, stoggie software vendors. Furthermore, customers bought into open source to avoid vendor lock in, so buying for the customers is not all that attractive either. This makes Hortonworks and Cloudera, for example, unattractive acquisition targets for the likes of IBM or Oracle. Hmmm...are you starting to see it?

Allow me to bring it all together: Open source is indeed erroding big software's vendor's profit; sure they are selling stuff, but open source disrupted sectors are not growing at the rate their stock price needs to keep investors happy. Investors will grow increasingly unhappy, cash will become scarce and big vendors will cut costs to prop up the bottom line and free up cash... for what - acquisitions? That doesn't work like it used to.  It's is a downward spiral.

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Cognitive Search Is The AI Version Of Enterprise Search

Mike Gualtieri

Cognitive SearchWritten by Emily Miller, Senior Research Associate

Stop Wasting Time

More than half (54%) of global information workers are interrupted from their work a few times or more per month to spend time looking for or trying to get access to information, insights, and answers. The problem: Old keyword-based enterprise search engines of the past are obsolete. Cognitive search is the new generation of enterprise search that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to return results that are more relevant to the user or embedded in an application issuing the search query. Forrester defines cognitive search and knowledge discovery solutions as

A new generation of enterprise search solutions that employ AI technologies such as natural language processing and machine learning to ingest, understand, organize, and query digital content from multiple data sources.

Cognitive search solutions are different because they:

  • Scale to handle a multitude of data sources and types.Search is no longer just about unstructured text contained in documents and web pages. Cognitive search solutions can also accommodate structured data contained in databases and even nontraditional enterprise data like images, video, audio, and machine data such as from internet-of-things (IoT) devices.
  • Employ artificial intelligence technologies. The distinguishing characteristic of cognitive search solutions is that they use natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to understand and organize data, predict the intent of the search query, improve relevancy of results, and automatically tune the relevancy of results over time.
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Reflections From HPE Discover 2017

Eveline Oehrlich

From June 4 to 6, 2017, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise hosted an analyst summit in hot Las Vegas as part of its HPE Discover 2017 event. After a five-year journey of splitting, spin-merging, and getting smaller, CEO Meg Whitman and her staff took stage announcing their strategy and innovations to 9,000 attendees ranging from partners and customers from all over the world. This calls for some reflections about HPE’s journey, its past achievements, and its current focus areas and will help us understand where HPE is heading in the future.

I have been following HPE for almost 11 years and had a chance to meet Meg Whitman in September 2016 in Boston right after the company acquired SGI. I have seen HP split into HPE and HP Inc., creating two powerhouses and then again spin-merge its services teams into CSC (now DXC) and HPE Software into Micro Focus, which should be finalized by September 1, 2017. Meg has created four new companies out of one giant company, with each focused and poised to innovate, add value, and deliver outcomes to its installed base and new customers. In the past 12 months, HPE grew both organically and inorganically via good (and attractively priced) acquisitions such as Aruba Networks, 3Par, SGI, Nimble Storage, CloudCruiser, and Niara — all purposeful and aligned with two of its key strategies, supported by the 25,000-strong PointNext service organization.

HPE is clearly focused on all verticals and large enterprises of the world that face challenges in transforming towards a digital business all at different speeds. The spin-merging of HP Enterprise Services into what Meg calls its “cousin” DXC allows it to be even more partner-open, and the new GM Ana Pinczuk is eager to march her PointNext organization along HPE’s solutions as well as create additional competitive advantage with new service offerings.

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